• Sbird
  • Team Pelican
  • Rbird
  • Walking In

GoPro: Realization of a Snag Hazard

When it comes to skydivers wanting to slap a small format camera (GoPro) onto their body there are two statements that I hear far too often, either of which could have resulted in this incident being an injury or fatality.

But it will just break off
I’ll just forget it’s there

Do you jump a GoPro? Have you ever said one of these lines? I invite you to pause for a moment and watch this video.

This is an excellent learning aid on many fronts. I want to highlight and reinforce what this video can teach us about two very important realities of small format cameras in skydiving. (these are not the only lessons to learn from this video, just two that I want to point out)

1) The GoPro mount did not break.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Gear Check: Slider Grommet Damage

If you have an Aerodyne canopy I urge you to be on the look out for this possible slider grommet damage.

This was discovered on my slider by inspection after I noticed a new small hole had developed in my slider after a jump. Looking closely at how the hole lined up nicely with a grommet at first I shook it off as material just getting stuck during deployment. Upon asking my rigger to take a closer look for good measure he looked at the plastic ring under the grommet and found it was not only cracked but easily pulled away from the grommet leaving a nice channel for a line or lines to get caught.

Needless to say I took my canopy out of service until getting the slider replaced.

Grommet Damage 01
Grommet Damage 02
Grommet Damage 03
New Slider

The first picture shows what the cracks look like. With no pressure at all I was able to lift the plastic away from the grommet. The third picture with the line placed in the space shows how much room there is for potential bad juju. This did not happen, but easily could. The final image is the new slider and how that plastic ring should look, no gaps all the way around.

Please inspect your slider grommets for damage regularly, if you notice this damage consider it not airworthy and get it replaced!

The Fight for Skydive Cape Cod

Skydive Cape Cod in Chatham, MA is facing a fight that Laconia is all too familiar with.

The FAA Airport Compliance Manual – Order 5190.6B, Chapter 14 contains the meat and potatoes of what is surrounding the argument.

a. Type, Kind, or Class. Grant Assurance 22(i) refers to the airport sponsor’s limited ability to prohibit or limit aeronautical operations by whole classes or types of operation, not individual operators. If a class or type of operation may cause a problem, all operators of that type or class would be subject to the same restriction. For example, if the sponsor of a busy airport finds that skydiving unacceptably interferes with the use of the airport by fixed-wing aircraft, and the FAA agrees, the sponsor may ban skydiving at the airport. However, the sponsor could not ban some skydiving operators and allow others to operate. If a sponsor believes there is a safety issue with the flight operations of an individual aeronautical operator, rather than a class of operations, the sponsor should report the issue to the Flight Standards Service as well as bringing it to the attention of the operator’s management.

The town thinks skydiving is dangerous and is trying to use this argument to secure a waiver that would prevent skydiving even though the airport receives grant money and must adhere to Grant Assurances (22) Economic Nondiscrimination rules.

This is a great example of why donations to the USPA Airport Access And Defense Fund are so important.

The Donor-supported AAD Fund helps safeguard skydiving’s rights to be free from unnecessary government burden and to access the nation’s airspace and federally funded airports. Donations are not tax-deductible.

Show your support for Skydive Cape Cod, attend board meetings, talk to your selectmen.